The ALTAR TABLE is the surface upon which your altar is set up. It is not necessarily a table as such, but can be any of a wide variety of surfaces.
Traditionally altars have often been erected out of doors. They still are at ritual gatherings and for certain observances. In this circumstance the altar is often placed directly on the ground or upon a log or boulder. This is the ideal, connecting directly with Mother Earth and through Her the Universe.
In this same spirit your indoor altar table is best made of wood or stone (as marble, for instance). Metal is not considered desirable, for the horizontal surface at least -though the altar table may stand on metal legs and often includes metal components.
Most commonly an ordinary piece of household furniture is used for the altar table, to conserve space. Many people set up their altars on their bedroom dresser top, or on a nightstand. Some people use the top shelf of a bookcase, showing reverence for knowledge.
Some people, to maintain an even closer link with Earth, will place a bowl or box lined with soil on their altar table and assemble their altar in this -though this is an unusual practice. More commonly a jar or bowl of Earth will be kept ON the altar for the same reason, rather than being used AS the altar.
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